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Critical Values Tables

Critical Laboratory Values are defined as values that represent an immediately life-threatening pathophysiological state for any patient regardless of clinical status and which require prompt intervention.  All critical laboratory values will be called to a responsible licensed caregiver within 30 minutes.


 Click on the links below to go to the table.

 Chemistry Blood Gas  Hematology Anatomic Pathology
 Drugs Microbiology    

Chemistry Critical Values

  Chemistry Tests  Equal to or Less Than  Equal to or Greater Than
Bilirubin:  Age 0 - 30 days    15.0 mg/dL
Calcium, Total    6.5 mg/dL  12.0 mg/dL
Calcium, Ionized    3.5 mg/dL    5.8 mg/dL
CO2 content  11.0 mmol/L  40.0 mmol/L

Glucose:  Age 0-24 hrs

    (random, fasting, tolerance)

 40 mg/dL

400 mg/dL

Glucose:  Age >24 hrs

    (random, fasting, tolerance)

 50 mg/dL 400 mg/dL
Magnesium     1.0 mg/dL     5.0 mg/dL
Osmolality, Measured 250 mOsm/kg  335 mOsm/kg
Phosphorus      1.0 mg/dL  
Potassium     2.5 mmol/L     6.5 mmol/L
Sodium  120 mmol/L 160 mmol/L

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Hematology and Coagulation Critical Values

 Hematology Tests  Equal to or Less Than  Equal to or Greater Than

 60% Greater then one month of age

70% Less than or equal to one month of age

 Hemoglobin 6 g/dL  
 WBC 1.0 K/uL  50 K/uL
 Blasts   Presence (>0)
 Malaria   Presence (>0)
Partial Thromboplastin Time   85 sec.
Prothrombin Time     40 sec.
  International NormalizedRatio (INR)       5.0


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Drug Critical Values

 Drug  Equal to or Less Than   Equal to or Greater Than
 Acetaminophen    50 ug/mL
 Digoxin      2.5 ng/dL
Lidocaine      6.5 ug/mL
Lithium      1.5 mmol/L
 Procainamide (+ NAPA)    30 ug/mL

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Blood Gas Critical Values
Blood Gas Test  Values Less Than Values Greater Than
Arterial Blood Gas:  Adult    
            pH    7.25 units    7.60 units
            pCO2 25 mmHg 60 mmHg
            pO2 60 mmHg  
Arterial Blood Gas:  Newborn    
            pH    7.20 units    7.50 units
            pCO2 30 mmHg 60 mmHg
            pO2 40 mmHg 90 mmHg


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Microbiology Critical Values
Test Name Result
Blood Culture Positive Culture or Gram Stain
CSF Culture Positive Culture or Gram Stain
Cryptococcal Antigen Positive
India Ink Exam Positive


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Updated 8/26/2010